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March 23, 2023

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Frozen organic strawberries targeted in recall

5 people sickened with hepatitis A in Washington have been linked to fruit


Five people in Washington have been sickened with hepatitis A linked to frozen organic strawberries sold in stores.

Frozen organic strawberries sold to Costco, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets in Washington have been voluntarily recalled by Scene Fruit Company of Gresham, Ore., according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The recall also includes a frozen tropical blend sold in Trader Joe’s stores nationwide.

All five people, ranging in age from 38 to 61, reported eating the strawberries, the FDA said. Two have been hospitalized. Their illnesses began between Nov. 24 and Dec. 27, 2022.

The fruit was imported fresh from certain farms in Baja California, Mexico, in 2022, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus strain is genetically identical to the one that caused a hepatitis A outbreak affecting 19 people in Arizona, California, Minnesota and North Dakota last year.

The FDA recommends people not consume the products and return them to a store for a refund.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include yellow skin or eyes, upset stomach, vomiting, fatigue and dark urine or light-colored stools. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children, but not everyone exhibits symptoms, according to the CDC.

If you’ve eaten the recalled strawberries within the past two weeks and aren’t vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact a health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis, which can help prevent illness within that time frame.

The recalled products sold at Washington stores are:

  • Vital Choice Organic Strawberries, 16 ounces. UPC code: 834297005024. “Best by” or “best if used before” date: May 20, 2024.
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries, 4 pounds. UPC code: 96619140404. “Best by” or “best if used before” date: Oct. 8, 2024.
  • PCC Community Markets Organic Strawberries, 32 ounces. UPC code: 22827109469. “Best by” or “best if used before” date: Oct. 29, 2024.
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Blend Pineapple, Bananas, Strawberries & Mango, 16 ounces. UPC code: 00511919. “Best by” or “best if used before” dates: April 25, May 12, May 23, May 30, June 7, 2024.